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Search is on for pioneers of new joint community mentoring project

Violence prevention campaigners are looking for an ambitious provider to take the helm of a new mentoring project steering young people away from violence.

Leicestershire’s Violence Reduction Network (VRN) has teamed up with Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews and Leicester City Council (LCC) to launch a joint tendering process to deliver the new initiative, which will provide support in the East Leicester, West Leicester and Charnwood areas.

The project, which has been co-designed by local community groups, will provide support to young people at risk of violence, especially those who are not already accessing or being reached by existing services.

It will utilise the skills and experiences of ‘credible mentors’ who are representative of the young people they support and will draw on the resources and expertise already available within the community to connect young people to the help and guidance they need.

Grace Strong, VRN Strategic Director, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to change the trajectories of these young people’s lives and instil within them the opportunity, hope and confidence to make a success of their futures.

“We are proud of the success we have achieved so far in preventing young people getting involved in violence and believe there are many more young people living in Leicestershire who would benefit from the help of their communities to walk away from violence.

“Empowering communities to help prevent crime and violence is one of the principles behind the VRN’s approach and we are excited to be working with the PCC and the City Council to deliver this new project.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews added: “We cannot expect young people to unravel their problems without offering the necessary support and guidance to drive that transformation. There are many influences, previous life experiences and behaviours to overcome for these young people and this requires the involvement of someone who knows first-hand or has lived through such issues, which this scheme will deliver.

“I have pledged to expand the rehabilitation opportunities for those involved in violence as this is one of the many ways I believe we can make a difference to the safety of young people and our streets.”

Asst City Mayor Cllr Kirk Master said: “I am very pleased to finally announce this exciting opportunity which we have been shaping together for some time.

“I’m sure it will contribute effectively to the city’s knife crime strategy which has been developed by taking an innovative community-led approach and has a number of recommendations and programmes such as this, that aim to change the lives of all individuals and communities facing the challenges posed by serious violence and knife crime.

“This project specially aims to provide young people and communities with relevant support and opportunities to think about how they can positively change their lives for the better. “

The project is the latest in a wealth of interventions and services delivered by the VRN and its partners to address known risk factors associated with serious violence.

It will become part of an existing multi-agency partnership approach to building stronger, safer communities that gives communities themselves a central role in developing solutions.

A formal tender process is now underway to appoint a provider. The deadline for applications is noon on Friday 24th September.

For more information or to apply, visit: Public quote/tender - Community Mentoring (

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